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when there will be a need. >> suarez: with today's escalation, egypt pressed for an end to the israeli air strikes. today, palestinian president mahmoud abbas asked the arab league to call an urgent meeting to discuss the strikes, and united nations chief ban ki-moon called for a "de-escalation of tensions." >> suarez: for more, i'm joined by phone with sheera frenkel, middle east correspondent for the "times of london" in jerusalem. sheera, we reported on the rising tensions between the israelis and the palestinians in gaza. but was there something in particular that set this off? >> in the last three or four hours that there have been a slowdown in hostilities between israel and the gaza strip. in fact, earlier in today there had been no exchanges of violence across the border. but when i spoke to officials about why they decided to start targeted assassinations and launch the operation in gaza, their answer was actually intelligence data they had received that militants in gaza had been smuggling in more high tech weapons and that it would really create damage to the military arsena
, will a ceasefire become a peace? "it could," he said, "but first we need to give thanks to president morsi of egypt." across gaza, he's something of a new hero, and they're even impressed in israel. the egyptian president right now the best hope for peacekeeping here. >> egypt was able to regain it's regional role as a regional player, mediating between the israelis and the palestinians in convincing both of them to reach a ceasefire agreement. in the city, the flags, the rallies, talking up victory. in the countryside, the hamas song is, we're going to bomb tel aviv. but away from politics, what about people, lives disrupted by all this? yesterday we filmed awad and his mum sabbah taking shelter in a school in gaza city. frightened, disorientated, a severely disabled boy caught up in all this. today, diplomacy had delivered. sabbah was at home with the family in atatrah. >> it's good that we're okay. i'm very happy i can't believe it, i'm shivering. that face, sabbah said, means he's feeling happy and safe, and with an arm's round from brother mahmoud, and no sound of an explosion. >> sreenivasan:
. protesters in egypt staged nationwide rallies today against egyptian president mohamed morsi and his muslim brotherhood. in cairo, more than 100,000 people filled tahrir square to condemn morsi's decree that makes his decisions immune to judicial review. earlier, there were clashes between protesters and police. the rallies were some of the largest since the overthrow of president hosni mubarak last year. in syria, government warplanes bombed towns in the north and east, in the face of new advances by rebel fighters. in one attack, the planes dropped barrels filled with explosives and gasoline just west of idlib city. reports of the dead ranged from five to 20. the regime is using intensive air raids to try to beat back rebel gains. forensic experts took samples from the remains of yasser arafat today, hoping to determine once and for all if the late palestinian leader was poisoned. arafat died in 2004. his body was briefly exhumed today in ramallah, on the west bank. we have a report from john ray of independent television news. >> reporter: eight years after they buried him they sealed ya
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